It’s February, the month of cupids and valentines, and that got us thinking about love beyond the trope of heart-shaped boxes. This life-changing, emotionally driven force is all around us from love songs, movies and poems to platonic and romantic relationships.
Yet, for all of the ways it informs our lives daily and socially, we rarely consider its most important application: self-love. The analogy of an airplane oxygen mask immediately comes to mind: you need to put the mask on yourself first before you can help others.
When we can start putting ourselves first – without any guilt or explanations – we can focus on self-love and the wonderful chain effect of self-forgiveness and self-compassion it creates.
Like all good things, self-love doesn’t just happen. To make it work you need a game-plan: daily routines, practices and projects, little things that will make a big difference. The results are immeasurable: your most authentic, grateful and compassionate self, living and loving life.You Time
Self-love starts with self-care. Begin with healthy routines: walk for at least 30 minutes a day and workout at least once every three days. Make healthier food choices – these start at the grocery store – and plan weekly menus in advance so you’re less likely to order that pizza late night. Go to bed at the same time every night and aim for eight hours of sleep. Embrace your routine and you’ll soon start to feel better than ever.
Did you know that people who actively practice gratitude are generally happier and even joyful? In turn, they’re easier on themselves and others. And the great thing is you don’t have to be a psychic yogi or millionaire self-help guru to practice gratitude – all you need is a pen and paper. Start writing down at least four things you’re grateful for each day and you’ll soon notice a ripple effect – you’ll become more aware of good things, dwell less on bad things and start to feel truly grateful.Compliment Yourself
Positive affirmations are one of the most powerful tools for attaining self-love. Make it a priority to stand in front of a mirror every day and compliment yourself. Eye-rolling aside, this really is an effective way to silence your inner critic and highlight your needs and what makes you special. Think: I am patient and kind, I deserve respect, I love the way I look... It’s amazing how a little kindness towards yourself can change everything and, most importantly, remind you just how worthy you are.